Crispy, delicious Salmon & Pea Baked Arancini make a great lighter alternative to the traditional Sicilian fried rice balls- Super easy to make and loaded with flavour!

There are lots of good reasons to fall in love with these salmon & pea baked arancini.

First of all, they’re extremely easy to make, plus they’re loaded with nutrient-packed ingredients, and last but not least, they’re baked instead of fried.

It’s difficult to reach the same crispy deliciousness you get when biting traditional fried arancini. But, trust me on this and keep scrolling down.

I’ve got a secret (well, not so secret now!) magic coating mix that will guarantee crunchy awesome baked arancini EVERY SINGLE TIME.

You can make a BIG batch of these salmon & pea baked arancini ready in just 45 minutes (plus a bit of extra time for cooling down the rice).

**This post is sponsored by Mazola. All opinions are my own**

What Are Arancini?

Arancini, which in Italian means “little oranges”, are stuffed rice balls coated in breadcrumbs and fried to perfection.

Arancini are a traditional Sicilian recipe, and they usually come either in a cone or a ball shape.

The most common fillings for Arancini are Italian ragu’, or butter and parmesan. However, nowadays you can find Sicilian rosticcerie (little shops where arancini are sold) selling arancini in more than 100 different varieties!

Ingredients For Baked Arancini:

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite arancini recipes, which includes a delicious filling of salmon & pea, a fantastic ingredient combo perfect to celebrate the warmer weather.

The ingredients list is short and made of simple ingredients such as:

  • fresh salmon fillet,
  • frozen peas
  • risotto rice (carnaroli or vialone nano)
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • free-range eggs
  • onion
  • organic lemon zest
  • saffron
  • thyme
  • cooking oil

The ingredients list is short, and made of simple ingredients such as: fresh salmon, frozen peas, risotto rice, panko breadcrumbs, eggs, onion, lemon zest, saffron and thyme.They also freeze beautifully, so you can stock up your freezer and have them ready in a blink for a quick weeknight meal, or for when arancini-cravings happen. Being Sicilian, I crave them all the time!

How To Make Baked Arancini

There are two ways to prepare the rice for the arancini.

The traditional recipe calls for boiled rice mixed with saffron, parmesan & butter (if your rice is sticky enough though, you can totally omit these), and sometimes egg.

A quicker, modern way calls for leftover risotto, which makes things a lot quicker.

If you go for the latter, go over to my salmon & asparagus risotto recipe and swap asparagus with peas (or use both!).

saffron rice on a plate and salmon and pea stir-fry on another plateI opted for the traditional route here, and made my rice from scratch.

It doesn’t take long, but you need to cool it completely for a couple of hours, so my best tip is to prepare the rice the night before, so you have it all ready the next day.

The salmon & pea filling, on the other hand, comes together pretty quickly.

Give all the ingredients a quick stir-fry, and it’s pretty much done.

Now that you’ve got the main ingredients for your baked arancini covered, it’s time to get them together.

Start with a spoonful of the rice and place it into your hand.

Arrange a spoonful of the salmon mixture into the center and wrap the rice around it to seal completely.

When making baked arancini, the coating you use is critical. 

To achieve the same crunchiness you get from the fried version, I’ve come up with a special coating mix that makes these baked arancini just as crisp and delicious as deep fried.

The coating is made with just 2 simple ingredients: super crunchy panko breadcrumbs, and a little bit of Mazola pure corn oil.mazola oil bottle, oil in a spoon and panko breadcrumbs on a plateI’m delighted to partnering up with Mazola once again to bring you this incredible lighten up version of classic Sicilian arancini.

Mazola is a leading corn and rapeseed oil brand with more than a century of heritage and experience. Here I’ve used Mazola 100% pure Corn Oil, which is only extracted at its peak time.

It’s rich in plant sterols, which have been proven to lower cholesterol, and is also a great source of healthy fatty acids!

It’s absolutely perfect for oven-frying these arancini, as it recreates perfectly the crunchy texture you usually can only get by deep-frying.

mazola oil bottle, hand holding a salmon and pea aranciniNow, moving back to the arancini, once the coating is ready, all you have to do is roll those arancini.

Dip each rice ball first into whisked eggs, then roll them into the special coating until fully covered.

rice balls on a plate, rice ball dipped in whisked eggs on a plate, rice ball rolled into breadcrumbs on a platePlace your prepared arancini in a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and super crispy.

Serve them straight out from the oven, and get ready to bite in a super tasty golden ball of delicious goodness.

hands holding a bowl covered with a white napkin and filled with salmon and pea baked arancini balls

Arancini FAQs

Having made over 100s of arancini in the past few years, I get asked lots of questions regarding arancini, so here are some of the most popular ones:

How long do arancini keep?

Prepare and bake the arancini in advance, and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Can you reheat arancini in the oven?

Absolutely yes. You can pop the arancini back in the oven and reheat them at 150°C/ 300°F for about 5-10 minutes. 

Can you freeze arancini after cooking?

Yes, you can! Once your baked arancini are ready, pop them in a freeze-friendly container and freeze them for up to 1 month.

Whenever you are craving arancini, place them in the oven and reheat them at 150°C/ 300°F for about 15 minutes.

How To Serve Arancini

Sometimes, no matter what kind of filling you use, arancini tend to be a bit on the dry side.

So, if you like, pair these salmon & pea baked arancini with a spicy lemon yogurt dip, or a classic marinara sauce.

You can also add a couple of mozzarella cubes into the filling.

Honestly, I’m not a massive fan of the fish + cheese combo, but my family loves it.

So, I’ve added some fresh buffalo mozzarella in some of mine and they got rave reviews!

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!


baked arancini with salmon and pea
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Baked Arancini with Salmon & Peas

Crispy, delicious Salmon & Pea Baked Arancini make a great lighter alternative to the traditional Sicilian fried rice balls- Super easy to make and loaded with flavour!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetiser
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: appetizer, baked, oven-fried, peas, rice, rice balls, salmon, sicilian
Servings: 15
Author: The Petite Cook


For the rice:

  • 500 gr carnaroli rice
  • 1 big pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese finely grated (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of butter optional
  • salt

For the filling:

  • 1 tbsp Mazola oil
  • 1 small gold onion finely minced
  • 300 gr 10oz fresh salmon fillet, finely chopped
  • 150 g/5½oz frozen peas
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • a handful of fresh thyme leaves chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper

For the coating:

  • 250 gr panko breadcrumbs
  • 5 tbsp Mazola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt & black pepper


  • For the rice: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice and season with salt to taste. Cook until al dente, and towards the end of cooking time add the saffron.
  • Drain the rice and transfer into a large bowl. Stir in optional Parmesan cheese & butter, then cover with cling film and refrigerate for about one hour or until cooled completely. The rice should be compact and sticky to the touch.
  • For the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon of Mazola oil in a large pan over low heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Then add chopped salmon and cook until no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the lemon zest and thyme leaves, then season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.
  • For the baked arancini: Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  • To make the arancini, scoop a tablespoon of rice into your hand. Place 1 tablespoon of the salmon mixture into the centre and wrap the risotto around it to seal completely. Repeat with the remaining rice and filling.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs with Mazola oil until well combined, your coating mix should be lightly wet, add a bit more oil if necessary, then season with salt and pepper to taste.In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs.
  • Dip each arancini ball first into the egg mixture, then roll into the coating mix, gently pressing to coat. Repeat with remaining balls.
  • Arrange the arancini onto the prepared baking tray and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Serve immediately.
Did you try this recipe? Tag @thepetitecook or use the hashtag #thepetitecook - Looking at your pictures makes my day!

Post originally published in July 2018 and updated with more info.